Amy's Hints for Writers

Write about people you know. (I always change their names, though!)


Write about places you know. (A lot ofmy stories take place in New York City,

because I live there.)


Write about everyday things. Ordinary things. (Nothing exciting ever happened

to me when I was your age. Or so I thought. But the things I write about

are about the everyday things of my childhood: wanting a purple coat, walking

and singing in the rain, and being the new girl in school.)


You have to be a good spy. (I am an EXCELLENT spy. I spy on everyone, but

they never know it.)


Get yourself a big garbage can. (Mine is HUGE! If I don’t like what I write, I

toss it right in. Mostly I spend my days throwing bad sentences in the garbage.)


Revise, revise, and then revise some more. Don’t get lazy! (I COULD be lazy. I could be VERY lazy. But! I want my story to be good. No, I want it to be the VERY BEST story ... and so, I rewrite and revise! EVERYTHING! I hardly EVER like the way I

write something the first time around!)


Read your sentences out loud. (I sit at my desk and type. Then I read what I

typed out loud. I want it to SOUND right, as well as LOOK right on the page).


Revise, revise, and then revise some more. And don’t get lazy! (Yes, I KNOW I’ve already said that.)


Don’t get fancy. (Whenever I write a beautiful fancy sentence, I am very

impressed. But just for a minute. Because deep down I know I’m going to change my sentence so it sounds like ME. A SIMPLE sentence is a beautiful thing!)


Write about something you really, truly care about. (I really, truly care about

families. And people in families. And how they solve their problems. So, I mostly

write about these kinds of things. I really, truly care about, and worry

about, the people I write about.)


Write about yourself! (I ALWAYS write about Amy Hest, but never call a

character in a story Amy Hest.)


Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not a writer. Because you ARE. We all

are! We ALL have a story to tell.